Solving Medical Mysteries
Through Team Science

How to Apply

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund, made up of medical and research centers across the United States working to improve diagnosis and care of patients with undiagnosed diseases. Through this study, we hope to both help individual patients and families and contribute to the understanding of how the human body works.

Due to the complex nature of the body and the diseases being investigated, we cannot accept all applicants into the study. However, we do fully review all applications we receive. For more information about the UDN and the application process, please review our frequently asked questions.

Application Requirements

If you decide to apply for this study, you will need to answer a series of brief questions through our application portal, the UDN Gateway, covering the following topics:

  • Contact information
  • Demographic information
  • Primary licensed healthcare provider information (name, address, phone, fax, email)
  • Brief medical history questions
  • Previous evaluations
  • Travel limitations

A study recommendation letter from a primary licensed healthcare provider is also necessary in order to submit the online application to the UDN. This study recommendation letter must include:

  • A summary of the applicant’s medical problems
  • Date when symptoms were first noticed
  • Previous diagnoses
  • History of evaluations and testing
  • History of treatments and medications
  • Current medications
  • Family history
  • Healthcare provider’s diagnostic impressions
  • For pediatric patients: prenatal and birth history should also be provided

We have prepared a sheet of information for you to share with your provider, as well as a set of example study recommendation letters.

You will need an email address to apply through the UDN Gateway. If you do not have an email address, you can submit a paper application instead.

Application Review Process

After an application is complete and submitted in the Gateway, applicants will receive an email confirmation. The application is then sent to one of the UDN clinical sites to review.

The UDN clinical sites typically contact applicants within one month of application submission to request additional information, such as:

  • Medical records
  • Laboratory studies
  • MRI, X-ray, or CT images (can be sent on CD)
  • Photographs or videos
  • Pathology slides and reports
  • For pediatric patients: growth curves

In order to help with the application review process, you can begin to collect these records now. However, please do not send this information until you receive specific instructions to do so from a UDN clinical site.

After all of the necessary information is received by a UDN clinical site, it typically takes 6-8 weeks for the network to make a decision whether to accept an applicant.

The UDN Gateway